Gender differentiated household socioeconomics and relative participation in cocoyam pre-planting operations among smallholder farmers in Abia State, Nigeria
This study was designed to determine the relative partiscipation of men and women in cocoyam pre-planting operations in Abia State. The study adopted descriptive survey using a questionnaire instrument structured on a 4-point measuring scale, the reliability of which was determined by Cronbach’s alpha which yielded a reliability co-efficient of rα = 0.85. Multistage probability and proportionate sampling procedure was used to select a sample of 480 farmers from 24 communities in Abia State, made up of 240 male and 240 female farmers. Data were collected with the assistance of male and female community leaders and extension workers. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics of Z-test. Two relevant null hypotheses were specified and tested. The pooled mean of 2.95 (as against the cult-off point of 2.50) obtained from the 4-point likert measuring scale indicated that women participated more than men in the preplanting operations. Also, the hypothesis of no mean significant difference between men’s labour and women’s labour contributions (in mandays) per hectare was not accepted because Zcal = - 5.830 was greater than Ztab = 1.960. By the same token, the hypothesis of no mean significant difference between men’s and women’s overall participation was rejected because Zcal = -5.410 was greater than Ztab = 1.960. Recommendations were made with particular emphasis placed on the wide divergence observed in the socioeconomic characteristics of male and female farmers and their labour contributions in cocoyam pre-planting operations.
Keywords: Gender, Participation, Pre-planting, Cocoyam and Abia State